IW County to seek large water users for intermodal park

Published 2:25 pm Saturday, December 22, 2018

Isle of Wight County’s Board of Supervisors, on Dec. 13, voted unanimously to cancel its contract with Camoin Associates — a company it had hired several years ago to help the county recruit large water users to the county’s Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park near Windsor.

As part of the motion to terminate the contract, which was made by Smithfield District Supervisor Dick Grice, the county will also pursue a new request for proposals.

“We weren’t getting what I thought we were asking for,” Grice said.

He explained that, ideally, the new consultant would look specifically for businesses that use between 100,000 and 500,000 gallons of water per day.

“There’s not that many businesses and industries that use that kind of water — identify them, find out where they are located, find out what their needs are and find somebody that can get us in the door,” Grice said.

Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson said the county’s original contract with Camoin, which it entered into several years ago, had specified a cost of $25,000, but the county had not spent that much to-date.

Robertson added that the reason the county is interested in attracting large water users was to address the county’s need to sell water.

He explained that the county’s utility service does not currently have enough water customers to be self-sustaining.

“We’re actually subsidizing our utilities with general funds – tax dollars,” Robertson said. “It’s a relatively young utility; we’re not quite there where we’re self-supporting yet. As our water customer base grows, we’ll get closer to self-sustainability.”

“Ideally, a company would locate in the park and be up and running at roughly the same time that the waterline along Route 460 is completed,” Robertson added.